Executive Decision

a: The one they call Jinky, from Accounting? He okayed his early retirement package.

b: That's...good?

a: Very. I never found out what he did in Accounting.

b: I saw him once. He took stuff out of his incoming tray and put it somebody else's. Roscoe was department head then, and he said he didn't care what Jinky did because he, uh, Jinky, was temporary, on loan from Engineering.

a: Engineering thought he was on loan from Accounting.

b: Holy God!

a: Yeah, holy God. Shareholders'd love this story. Not to put too fine a point on it: He did absolutely nothing for eighteen years. Hey, you can do nothing for the executive branch in Washington but that's expected by any realist. Besides, you're out in eight years, max. He got raises.

b: Could be piece on Sixty Minutes.

a: If it is, you and I are gone, and without a pension! Loose Lips Sink Schleps.

b: Holy God!

a: I'm not worried. They got bigger fish to fry. I'm worried about this place and its diminutive meddlers and gossips. I'm worried, always worried, about knives circling in the air.

b: It'll be forgotten. Jinky will.

a: I don't want it that way...exactly. Who gets Elizabeth Marriner Skelton Award at Retirement Dinner?

b: Bob Ingram, ran the industry-wide conferences for forty years and was state capital liaison and a complete workaholic. He bleeds company colors. Wife threw him out once and he slept in a janitor's closet in Engineering 'cause a senate committee was coming through.

a: Anxious to get their face in the trough at Leonardo's?

b: Hofbrau Haus actually. Pork, sauerkraut und beer! Lots of farting and singing.

a: How sweet. Bob Ingram's career and our collective life. Scrub his name out. Jinky gets the honor.

b: Man! Isn't that cynical even for us?

a: I got my reasons. Call 'em what you will.

b: There must be a lesson in all of this.

a: Who cares?




Ftrain.com is the website of Paul Ford and his pseudonyms. It is showing its age. I'm rewriting the code but it's taking some time.


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About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.

If you have any questions for me, I am very accessible by email. You can email me at ford@ftrain.com and ask me things and I will try to answer. Especially if you want to clarify something or write something critical. I am glad to clarify things so that you can disagree more effectively.


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© 1974-2011 Paul Ford


@20, by Paul Ford. Not any kind of eulogy, thanks. And no header image, either. (October 15)

Recent Offsite Work: Code and Prose. As a hobby I write. (January 14)

Rotary Dial. (August 21)

10 Timeframes. (June 20)

Facebook and Instagram: When Your Favorite App Sells Out. (April 10)

Why I Am Leaving the People of the Red Valley. (April 7)

Welcome to the Company. (September 21)

“Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings?”. Forgot to tell you about this. (July 20)

“The Age of Mechanical Reproduction”. An essay for TheMorningNews.org. (July 11)

Woods+. People call me a lot and say: What is this new thing? You're a nerd. Explain it immediately. (July 10)

Reading Tonight. Reading! (May 25)

Recorded Entertainment #2, by Paul Ford. (May 18)

Recorded Entertainment #1, by Paul Ford. (May 17)

Nanolaw with Daughter. Why privacy mattered. (May 16)

0h30m w/Photoshop, by Paul Ford. It's immediately clear to me now that I'm writing again that I need to come up with some new forms in order to have fun here—so that I can get a rhythm and know what I'm doing. One thing that works for me are time limits; pencils up, pencils down. So: Fridays, write for 30 minutes; edit for 20 minutes max; and go whip up some images if necessary, like the big crappy hand below that's all meaningful and evocative because it's retro and zoomed-in. Post it, and leave it alone. Can I do that every Friday? Yes! Will I? Maybe! But I crave that simple continuity. For today, for absolutely no reason other than that it came unbidden into my brain, the subject will be Photoshop. (Do we have a process? We have a process. It is 11:39 and...) (May 13)

That Shaggy Feeling. Soon, orphans. (May 12)

Antilunchism, by Paul Ford. Snack trams. (May 11)

Tickler File Forever, by Paul Ford. I'll have no one to blame but future me. (May 10)

Time's Inverted Index, by Paul Ford. (1) When robots write history we can get in trouble with our past selves. (2) Search-generated, "false" chrestomathies and the historical fallacy. (May 9)

Bantha Tracks. (May 5)

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